The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 47
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The Indigenous Indians of Lower Trinity Area of Texas 47
his last comrade. Finally he spied some Indians in dugouts going
to an island in the bay to search for eggs in the sand. Hungering
for human companionship of any kind, he set out in his canoe
to join them. They acted as if they had never seen a white man
before. He led them to his canoe where they proceeded to strip
it of all its possessions-guns, swords, silver, clothing, and other
things. They even stripped him of all his clothing and left him
nude. He begged them for his clothes, but they only laughed at
him and mocked him. Mosquitoes were bad, and he spent his
first night of slavery in water up to his neck.
The following morning the Indians forced him to go with
them to a land where there were some other Indians. The dread-
ful howling of the Indians upon their meeting made Bellisle fear
for his life. They refused him food for a day and a half and then
fed him boiled "potatoes."80
On one occasion the Indians went on a buffalo hunt to the
prairies, loading Bellisle down with baggage and making him
walk on a two days' journey. When the party reached the hunting
grounds the Indians killed buffalo. There was a fight with some
other Indians in which the Orcoquiza killed one of their enemy
and ate him. The party set out homeward in the morning with
Bellisle plodding along with a load of meat, scarcely able to
keep up. With the return of the party the women began a dance
of joy lasting two days, holding in their hands a bone or nail
of the slain enemy.31
About 1756 the Orcoquiza numbered about five or six hun-
dred. The Bidai nation to the north of them numbered about
one hundred varriors. An epidemic in 1777 and 1778 wiped
out a considerable number of them. Fray Francisco Jose de la
Garza, a missionary, took advantage of the epidemic to save their
souls. Most of those that died were baptized. Athanase de Mezi-
ares, a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish service, in a letter to
the viceroy on February 20, 1778, spoke concerning the Attacapa
and Orcoquiza. He stated that these Indians were without fixed
residences and did not cultivate the soil. Neither did they like
soPierre Margry, Ddcouvertes et Etablissements des Francais dans l'Quest et da, s
le Sud de l'Amerique Septentrionale (Paris, 1879), VI, 230-347; Henri Folmer, "I)e
Bellisle on the Texas Coast," Southwestern Historical Quarterly, XLIV, 20o4-231.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/60/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.